When I Find Her
Jennifer Marks, the irresistible new girl from high school, is gone, leaving Luke Eric searching for answers. The past year hasn’t been easy. Meaningful opportunities have slipped through his fingers. But Luke is strong and fearless, and now that he’s in remission from leukemia, he’s ready to go back and fight for the moments that could change his future.
Using magical red dice, nicknamed “Vegas apples,” Luke travels through time to correct three mistakes he made in his past – the first one being that he never kissed Jennifer Marks.
A powerful, uplifting story of forgiveness, undying love, and making courageous choices.
Time travel always makes the plot complicated, the story even more so, and the results unclear. There is the original timeline, where nothing has been affected by time travel. Then there is the changed timeline. There is the past and the present. So basically, there are four sections: 1) The original past, 2) The original present, 3) The changed past, and 4) The changed present. 2, 3, and 4 are most certainly the prominent areas of exploration in this novel. Luke travels from present and past, changing his future forever.
All of this time travel, this world building, makes everything so different. It is the modern world but with time traveling red dices. Readers would have to differentiate between the past and the present using much effort. The writing style and format itself could had been used to help readers, but the internal dialogue of Luke Eric makes it obvious where he is (present-or-past-wise).
Luke Eric, who is our narrator and in remission, has been given the wonderful and curious gift of fixing his old mistakes. The red dices are (magical?) devices that are capable of time traveling. His actions and thoughts remind me of Jackson Meyer from Julie Cross's TEMPEST, especially when regarding Jennifer Marks. Jackson, like Luke, is quite attached to the girl he loves. He constantly searches for her. Luke's infatuation with Jennifer is put in the front seat, and it is clear that Jennifer returns those feelings.
Jennifer Marks has many appearances throughout the novel. She is a character who has so much potential for more than what has conspired within the two hundred or so pages of this book.
The fast-paced plot starts off right away. After being handed red dices, Luke is in a mad dash. He goes from the past to present, present to past within a heartbeat. Luke's mistakes and atonements for some (very big) mistakes makes the story compelling to read. His mistakes and the attempt to fix them is of a journey, a search for a better person, a better Luke Eric.
In conclusion, WHEN I FIND HER is a story of the past and the present. It isn't dark, and it is YA Contemporary. Best for young teens (13 and up) who are good at remembering different timelines, this story is about second chances and big "What ifs?"
Rating: Three out of Five